You’ve probably heard of dropshipping, where you operate a store but don’t keep all the inventory yourself. Shopify has made this easier than ever with their drag-and-drop store builder. With their platform, you can literally set up a store in a matter of minutes. From creating a product to uploading digital goods to stock, the entire process is automated. You don’t have to worry about low quality products or shipping delays because everything is pre-packaged and ready to go when the order is placed.
This convenience has made dropshipping a popular choice among online stores, especially when starting out. You don’t have to worry about storage space or having enough staff to fulfill orders. You can literally start small and scale up as you need more capacity.
The Downsides Of Traditional Businesses
Traditional storefronts like physical stores or online marketplaces like Etsy have their perks. You get to physically interact with customers and build long-term relationships. You also have the opportunity to diversify your product line and try new things. However, there are also significant drawbacks. For one, traditional businesses require a lot of overhead. You’ll need a physical space to set up and run your store, and you’ll need at least some employees to operate it. Even then, it’s not easy to find the right location, and this can add up to a lot of stress.
Additionally, you’re bound by the products you have. If you run out of a popular item, you’ll have to stop selling it and find a replacement. The further you get from your kitchen table, the more you rely on manufacturers and suppliers to carry your inventory. When something goes wrong, there’s no one to help you but yourself. This can make or break your business. You can’t control unexpected expenses or sudden changes in demand. All these things factor into the stress level of running a traditional business.
Why Choose Dropshipping?
Let’s face it, we’re all busy. Between work, family, and fitness, there’s rarely enough time for us to fit in our daily chores. This is why we’ve developed a dependence on free apps and programs that help us automate certain tasks so we can get more done. Similarly, with dropshipping, you can literally set up a store in minutes and start selling online. The more time you save, the more money you make. This is the perfect solution for anyone looking to make a quick buck online.
Additionally, you don’t need a lot of capital to get started with a dropshipping store. You can literally start small and use the profits from your sales to expand. All you need is a computer, an internet connection, and a credit card to set up the basic shop. From there, you can build your customer base and take on larger customers easily. Plus, you can use Shopify’s merchant services to accept payments.”
Where Can I Sell?
As mentioned above, with dropshipping you don’t need to set up your own storefront. This makes it much easier to sell your products online and gets rid of the overhead of a traditional store. Additionally, with Shopify’s online marketplaces, you can choose from thousands of products you can sell. If you have a product you think will sell well, it’s easy to set up a store using Shopify.
The choice of online marketplaces is almost endless. Whether you sell jewelry, beauty products, clothing, or accessories, there’s an online marketplace you can plug into to reach your audience.
Setting Up Your Shop
Once you’ve decided to go down the dropshipping route, the next step is to set up your shop. This is very straightforward and can be done in a matter of minutes. To set up your shop, you’ll need to create a product, choose a name for it, and add a physical image you’ll use for the product. You can do this via the Shopify dashboard. Simply log in, click on “Products,” then click on “Add new product.”
Once you’ve created the product, you can add a short description, set the price, and add one or more images of the product. You’ll want to make sure you add the right images. Each product you make will need a separate image. If you’re using Photoshop or similar photo editing apps, you can use the tool “Product shot” to quickly take a picture of a mock-up of the product and apply it to a transparent background.
If you’re applying for a merchant account through Shopify, you’ll need to set up a physical address where you can be reached (this is where packages will be delivered). Additionally, you’ll need to make sure you have a phone number where customers can contact you.
Once you’ve set up your shop, click on “Dashboard” then “Products.” This will direct you to your products and the dashboard for managing your business. From here, you can click on any product and add it to your shopping cart. You can either download the digital goods attached to the product or click on “Shopify Store” if you’ve attached a store to the product and add the physical item to your cart.
Another important part of running a business is fulfilling orders. With dropshipping, this is very easy to do. When a customer makes an order, you simply need to visit their Shopify store, locate the item in your inventory, and ship it out. You can do this manually or use Shopify’s built-in tools to handle order fulfillment. Either way, it’s easy and requires very little effort.
Manually handling orders takes a bit of time but is very rewarding. You get to personally visit each customer, learn more about their needs, and address any concerns they might have. The upside is that you get to develop a deeper connection with your customers and learn what resonates with them. Plus, you can become more efficient at handling things like order fulfillment and follow-ups. This saves you time and allows you to focus on growing your business.
Whether you realize it or not, when you sell a product online, you’re actually selling an opportunity for someone else to earn money. This is called “marketing” and is something you have to be incredibly careful about. When you establish a rapport with your customers, you’re able to get them to think of you whenever they want to buy a product similar to what you sell. This is called “word of mouth” marketing and is one of the most effective and cheapest ways to get customers.
As a business owner, you’ll be tempted to want to maximize your earnings as much as possible. This often means raising your sales prices and discounting your wares to make a profit. While this might seem like a good idea at first, this can backfire in your favor. When your prices are higher, fewer customers will be willing to make a purchase. Additionally, if you’re discounting your products heavily to make a profit, your customers will perceive this as bad customer service. This will damage your reputation and potentially hurt your bottom line.
Managing Your Brand
As a business owner, you’ll be responsible for maintaining a certain brand image for your product. When you decide to go down the dropshipping route, this becomes easier because you don’t have to think about maintaining a physical storefront or inventory. Simply find a product you feel strongly about and can promote effectively and you’re good to go. As a general rule, it’s better to pick your battles. Instead of arguing about branding or the merits of a certain product, find a middle ground. This will make you look more mature and help preserve your business.